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Final Study Guide

Final Study Guide - Chapter 6 Elements of public opinion...

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Chapter 6 Elements of public opinion: The collective expression of the opinions of many individuals in a group (with same goals, interests, beliefs, etc.) Formed by people who are interested in an issue or who can be directly impacted by the issue Usually related to specific events that effect the population Usually short lived Awareness is required for people to form an opinion-> leads to media coverage, which leads to more people finding out about it. *PR pros identify publics through analysis of public opinion Opinion leaders - drive public opinion and consumer trends (characteristics: highly interested and well informed on subject, avid consumers of mass media, early adopters of new ideas, good organizers) 2 types: 1) formal- elected officials, presidents of companies 2) Informal- exert influence on peer group by being informed, articulate, and credible *PR pros try to reach opinion leaders in order to help with an idea or project Two-step flow theory of communication- info is disseminated through the media to opinion leaders who interact with other less informed members of the public Role of mass media:
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Sets agenda for public discussion (tell people what to think about) Framing (shaping a story to portray a certain viewpoint) *40-50% of media info comes from PR sources Public discourse is rooted in conflict, which creates a constructive process that builds toward consensus (regulates and helps ensure social stability). Unfold a conflict to promote public debate by engaging the widest public involvement (called escalation) Role of media is to interpret the issue, deliver the position of the other party, and suggest avenues for resolution Persuasion in public opinion: A communicator attempts to change attitude, belief or behavior. Used to change opinions, bring out latent opinions or attitudes, and maintain favorable opinions. Used for negotiation (process in which 2 or more parties attempt to settle disputes) How parties position themselves before a negotiation is crucial to the outcome- this is where PR comes in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) - takes place outside the traditional courtroom. Less expensive and more efficient than a lawsuit. Factors in persuasive communication: 1. audience analysis- knowledge about the audiences’ stance (beliefs, attitudes, opinions, demographic info,) 2. appeals to self interest 3. audience participation 4. suggestions for action
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5. source credibility 6. clarity of message 7. content and structure of the message 8. channels 9. timing and context 10. reinforcement Limitation of persuasion lack of message penetration competing or conflicting messages self-selection- people only read the articles that interest them, this is why it is said that PR is more effective at reinforcing existing attitudes than changing them self-perception- channel through which messages are interpreted (people perceive messages differently depending on predisposition) John/Jane Q Public : is a character that has come to symbolize what people think about on any given issue.
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